Preview: 2017 Lake Ontario Crossing

Ambitious Paddlers Set for Lake Ontario Crossing Paddleboard Race

Toronto, ON—The field is set for the second annual Lake Ontario Crossing Paddleboard Race to be held on Sunday, July 30th, 2017.

Paddlers will depart from Lakeside Park in Port Dalhousie, ON at 7:00 am, and take on a 5-to-8 hour crossing that will finish at the Toronto Windsurfing Club, adjacent to Cherry Beach in Toronto.


Determined field is set

Getting to the start line of a major crossing is often half the battle. After months of training and logistical preparation, the field has been set at 10 solo paddlers, a 2-person relay team and a 3-person relay team. Each solo paddler will have the support of a dedicated escort boat, while relay paddlers will jump off their boat to make mid-lake exchanges.

The start line will have representation from Ontario, Quebec and Minnesota, with all paddlers meeting competitive standards.

Paddlers will be racing each other and an eight hour cutoff time, while attempting to cross a historic body of water.

Giving back

All athletes, in conjunction with sponsor Ausmosis Board Craft, will have a portion of their entry fees donated to the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper. Ausmosis has partnered with the Waterkeeper, which works hard to keep Lake Ontario clean, and provides timely information on local beach conditions – a great cause for all paddlers!

Also noteworthy is paddler John Shelley, who was recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and will attempt the crossing with a support crew. John has raised $10,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation while preparing for the event.

How to follow the race

Spectators can see the start in person between 5:30 am and 8:00 am on race day. Paddlers are expected to finish at the Toronto Windsurfing Club between 12:30 pm and 3:00 pm.

Social media updates, photos and video will be posted at:

Full race information is available at:


About the Lake Ontario Crossing Paddleboard Race

The Lake Ontario Crossing Paddleboard Race is an open-water endurance race for stand up (SUP) and traditional paddleboards. The highly-anticipated 32-mile, point-to-point race matches the standard established by the Molokai-to-Oahu World Championships in Hawaii and the prestigious Catalina Classic in California.

Lake Ontario crossings of any variety are steeped in history after Marilyn Bell’s historic 1954 swim.

A Lake Ontario crossing is a big and exposed paddle not to be taken lightly. At the mid-point of the crossing, paddlers are completely isolated, and four-foot swells are common. In September 2014, Dan Michaluk and Rob Kavcic crossed Lake Ontario in under six hours – Dan paddling prone and Rob on a standup paddleboard. A year later, Gander Tawaststjerna joined them on their second crossing in challenging ocean-like conditions. The 2016 crossing was re-routed to a near-shore course due to threatening conditions. 
It is a demanding physical and mental test for those ready to take on the open waters of Lake Ontario.

The Lake Ontario Crossing is sanctioned by the Ontario Marathon Canoe Kayak Racing Association.

See for updates.


Rob Kavcic, Daryl Austin and Tom Millar